Middleton under-13s enjoyed an incredibly successful week in the Sussex Junior Cricket Festival – winning all of their matches, finishing champions of their group and ranked third in Sussex, but missing out on the county final by the slimmest of margins.
An experienced Middleton side demonstrated they were ready for the challenges of the Bowl League with a commanding eight-wicket victory over Brighton & Hove after the previous day’s fixture at Ansty had been washed out.
Excellent bowling reduced Brighton to 76 all out, Sam Bell leading the attack with three for nine, ably supported by Ben Taylor’s two for 14.
A fine 52-run partnership between Jack Dawling (30no) and James Carter (26) steered Middleton to victory in just 15 overs at Bognor CC’s ground, who kindly provided the venue.
Batting first against Littlehampton the following day, Middleton scored a respectable 115 with a 53-run partnership between Jack Dawling (46no) and Sam Bell (26), supported by a fine 20 from Jess Young. However the heavens opened and the match was abandoned.
Priory Park provided the venue for Middleton’s game against Chichester, always excellent hosts, and deciding to bat first Middleton posted 208 for seven declared.
Jack Dawling struck a memorable 101 not out, while a 75-run partnership with Christian Bellamy (33) was the foundation of the innings, ably supported by James Carter (14) and Jack Doe (13).
A tremendous response from Chichester was eventually overcome with Ben Taylor taking four wickets for 31 runs, Phoenix Ashworth (3-3) and Murray Carter outstanding behind the stumps leading Middleton to a 99-run victory.
The 100 per cent record was maintained on the final day of the festival with a fine 47-run victory over a strong East Preston team. Posting 131, thanks partly to Jack Dawling (43) and James Carter (10), Middleton defended their score in excellent fashion with strong bowling and fielding.
Wickets were shared between Dawling (4-11), Matthew Bellamy (2-14) and Lewis Faint (2-19).
The whole week was a team effort with every Middleton player making a solid contribution.
This week sees Middleton’s final under-13 league game at Findon, where victory would see them as joint under-13 champions of the West Sussex Bowl League with East Preston.